In Chinese mythology, Fu Xi (or Fu Hsi) was the first of the Three Sovereigns of ancient China. Fu Xi (2852 – 2737 BCE) taught humans all the skills necessary to ensure survival. He brought the waters of the Yellow River into order by digging dikes, canals, and irrigation ditches. Fu Xi taught the Chinese people fishing with nets, hunting with weapons made of iron, cooking, domestication of animals, music, the writing system, sericulture (cultivation of silk worms) and the weaving of threads from silkworm cocoons into textiles.
According to legend, in 2852 BCE, Fu Xi created the Eight Trigrams (Bagua). Fu Xi also offered the first open air sacrifices to heaven, standardized contracts for marriage, and invented an early type of calendar. In addition, he invented the measuring instrument that the legendary Emperor Yu used to measure the universe.
Ancient Chinese matriarchal society revered Fu Xi’s predecessor, the female creator goddess Nuwa. When the male role in procreation became understood, Fu Xi became primary and Nuwa is often depicted as his sister or wife. The story states that the land was swept by a great flood, and only Fu Xi and his sister Nüwa survived. They retired to Kunlun Mountain where they prayed for a sign from the Emperor of Heaven. The divine being approved their union and the siblings set about procreating the human race.
Fu Xi and Nuwa are depicted as having human bodies with intertwined dragon tails. They are holding a compass and a square, representing the yang (male) and yin (female) principles that permeate everything in the universe.
The tomb of Fu Xi has been worshipped for thousands of years in Huaiyang county, in central China’s Henan province. The tomb existed there as early as the Spring and Autumn Period (770 – 476 BCE). Buildings and plants have been arranged in a giant compound to reflect the Eight Trigrams. Visitors to Fu Xi’s tomb never miss the hole. It is an ancient tradition for women worshipers to rub their fingers in a hole in the cornerstone of the Xianren Hall, in hopes of being blessed with a happy marriage and healthy children. The tomb is on the site where Fu Xi gathered young men and women to decide their marriage. In 1996, the State Council included the sacred site in its folk culture legacy protection program.